See some of WNY’s most beautiful land at Audubon’s First Friday

Submitted Photo Naturalist Jacqueline Courtney Swift will present “Refuges for Nature” at Audubon Community Nature Center’s January 4 First Friday Lunch Bunch. She will take you on a visual tour of some of Western New York’s most beautiful land, preserved by the Nature Sanctuary Society of Western New York. Pictured is the Rodger Sweetland Preserve that covers five acres on the South Branch of Cattaraugus Creek in the Town of Persia in Cattaraugus County.

JAMESTOWN — The Nature Sanctuary Society of Western New York (NSSWNY) has preserved significant habitats since 1934 to protect rare species and sites of geological importance.

On Friday, Jan. 4, 11 a.m., at Audubon Community Nature Center’s First Friday Lunch Bunch, naturalist Jacqueline Courtney Swift will take you on a visual tour of some of Western New York’s most beautiful land to discover more about these preserves.

The seven sanctuaries owned by the Nature Sanctuary Society are prime examples of our region’s biodiverse natural heritage where study and scientific research are promoted and ongoing. As an educational non-profit, NSSWNY hosts lectures and programs and engages in community outreach to encourage appreciation for the natural world.

One of these sanctuaries, the Rodger Sweetland Memorial Preserve, covers five acres on the South Branch of Cattaraugus Creek in the Town of Persia in Cattaraugus County. It contains scattered remnant stands of very old American beech, red oak, sugar maple, eastern hemlock, and other climax species. Sweetland Falls, an 18-foot waterfall and its plunge pool, represents a unique regional hydrogeologic feature, by far the tallest waterfall in the stream channel of either branch of Cattaraugus Creek.

Jacqueline Courtney Swift has been president of NSSWNY since 2011. She is passionate about the Society’s mission of providing safe havens for the region’s unique flora, fauna, and geologic formations.

You are invited to bring a brown bag lunch and relax afterward to learn more about the Nature Sanctuary Society’s work. Coffee and tea are provided.

The fee for attending is $8 or $6 for Nature Center Members. Registrations are accepted online on the Programs page at auduboncnc.org through Thursday, Jan. 3. Walk-ins are welcome.

Audubon Community Nature Center is located at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, N.Y., and Warren, Pa.

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